North East businesses celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with awards for enterprise

North East businesses celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with awards for enterprise

Today business secretary Sajid Javid announces the winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious business awards in the country, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Awards scheme in what is also her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday year.

Two thirds of this year’s winners are being recognised for their exporting success, with the largest volume of winners being awarded the Queens Award for International Trade.

The announcement comes during Exporting is GREAT week, where UK Trade and Investment North East are holding events across the region to inspire companies to export and grow their business overseas.

One winner of an International Trade award is Chester-le-Street based Kate Welch. Kate is an entrepreneur who works full time in Social Enterprise Acumen CIC, which she founded in 2012 to achieve her vision of creating enterprising communities in North East England.  The Social Enterprise Acumen CIC model provides support to early stage social entrepreneurs, supports existing organisations to be more socially enterprising and, also helps improve the ecosystem of support in the region. She is a volunteer director on a number of boards and mentors a number of individuals.  Kate was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to social enterprise in North East England. 

Wallsend based Integrated Display Systems Ltd wins an Innovation Award for their clamp release tool used in automotive manufacture.  The company started trading in 1979 and has won two previous Queen's Awards in International Trade in 2012 and 2014. Their clamps are used in the industry to provide seals on fluid transfer hoses as any clamps left open can lead to fluid loss and consequent expensive warranty claims.

Washington based Walker Filtration Ltd wins a fifth Queens Award - this time for Innovation. They are winning the award for developing a range of airoil separators for use in oil flooded rotary vane pumps. The need for innovation was identified internationally and Walker Filtration took a bold step to enter a new sector. With significant investment in R&D, new product development and rigorous testing programmes they progressed standard filtration to a new market levels. Walker Filtration designs, manufactures and exports a wide range of high efficiency filtration and drying solutions for compressed air, gas and vacuum, suitable for a wide range of industrial applications.

Ashington based GT Culpitt and Sons Ltd, ta Culpitt Ltd and Sugarfayre Ltd is a substantial local employer with 230 staff and wins the Queen's Award for International Trade. The company has seen outstanding growth in international sales over the last three years. Established in 1931, it is a leading manufacturer and supplier of bespoke edible cake decorations to all major bakeries and previously won this award in 2012. With the European strategy working well a different approach was adopted to suit the US market that increased footfall in stores and raised awareness to new distributers.  As a result their US market almost quadrupled in the period.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Queen’s Awards are a great way of celebrating the best of British business. Whether you’re a disruptive start-up making life easier for your customers or a large company with a blockbuster product, these awards recognise your contribution to enterprise.

“We are a country full of exciting and innovative businesses that deserve to be celebrated. I’d like to commend all the winners for their hard work in creating jobs for people and driving our growing economy.”